You remember a time when you used to sleep soundly; your bed was a happy, welcoming place where you dreamed every night. Aside from the occasional nightmare after a watching a scary movie, your dreams were pleasant and quickly forgotten. But those days are distant as if experienced in another lifetime. Now, while your family sleeps soundly, you either lie awake all night or suffer lucid, often painful nightmares. These aren’t the nightmares you experienced in the past. No, these nightmares are intrusive, personal, and spillover into your morning, noon, and night – haunting remnants of a traumatic experience.
You’ve been suffering for too long now, and it’s taking a toll on you and those around you. You’re driving too fast, drinking too much, and/or lashing out at your friends and family for no reason. Maybe you feel emotionally numb, like you’ve hit a wall. Since yourÂ tragic event, you’ve put up with the anxieties and fears because you thought they would pass over time. You try not to think about the event, but too many things remind you of that time. Things you used to enjoy doing now trigger flashbacks. You feel on-guard at all times, building up walls around you that unintentionally keep out the people who love you the most. Like most people, you had goals, aspirations, and places you wanted to visit. All of thatÂ seems impossible now, as the memories of your tragic event debilitate you from focusing on anything else. You have Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and you’re ready to seek help.
The scenario above generalizes some of the typical symptoms of PTSD, a common psychological disorder that affects millions of Americans each year. While most people are familiar with PTSD in the context of our brave men and women in the armed forces returning home from war,Â anyone who has experienced a traumatic event canÂ suffer from the disorder as well. Luckily, more and more people with PTSD are finding relief in the form of prolonged exposure psychotherapy.
Our West Hollywood PTSD counseling is geared towards helping you take back control of your life.
The Mayo Clinic defines post-traumatic stress disorder as:
“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event â€” either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t have PTSD â€” with time and good self-care, they usually get better. But if the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.”
According to The Nebraska Department of Veteran’s Affairs, “An estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women (10.4%) twice as likely as men (5%) to develop PTSD. About 3.6 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year.”
Since many traumatic events are kept private, it’s often difficult for people with PTSD to admit they need help. We here at West HollywoodÂ Psychology understand and acknowledge the arduousness of discussing these painful memories. For this reason, we make sure our clients know they’re among professionals, and everything said during a PTSD therapy session will be confidential and non-judgmental. You have our promise.
PTSD therapy involves a series of conversations between the client and psychotherapist. I create a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere where you can feel comfortable discussing the feelings you’ve been keeping bottled up for so long. I use Prolonged Exposure Therapy to help patients face the thoughts, places, people, and feelings they’ve been avoiding due to PTSD. By addressing these issues over and over, we can get to the heart of what makes them stressful. As a result, these issues begin to lose their distressing powers, allowing clients to take back control of their lives.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about participating in our PTSD therapy sessions.